Cheesecake is delicious but fattening, so I had never made one. Also, cheesecake baking is labor-intensive, with its water bath and springform pan. Then I read about pressure cooker cheesecake. Now cheesecake can be a Hasty Tasty dish.
You can lighten the cheesecake by substituting Neufchâtel cheese for the cream cheese, but I don’trecommend other low fat substitutions. For me, cheesecake is a decadent dessert I save for a rare treat or to give as an impressive gift.
I made plain cheesecake and topped it with fresh berries. I used a 7” pan and my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus.
16 oz. Neufchâtel cheese (room temperature)
2 oz. sour cream
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
1 cup Graham cracker crumbs for crust
2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter, melted, for crust
Prepare crust by combining Graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press mixture into a 7” springform pan.
Place crust in freezer for 10-15 minutes.
Combine sour cream and Neufchâtel cheese with sugar and beat, but don’t over beat.
Add eggs one at a time.
Add vanilla extract and stir just until combined.
Pour filling into prepared crust.
Using a sling, place pan into pressure cooker on a trivet over 10 oz. water.
Seal cooker. Cook under pressure for 28-30 minutes.
Quick-release pressure and carefully remove cheesecake from the pot. Check for doneness. if edges aren’t set and center jiggles, it’s done. If not, return the pan and trivet to the pressure cooker and cook 5 minutes additional.
Cool cheesecake completely on a rack. Cool another 4 hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator.
Slice cheesecake into 8 pieces, top (optional), and serve.
Cheesecake should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 4 days. (It won’t last that long!) 😋
I want to thank Barbara Schrieving for her excellent tutorial on foolproof cheesecake. If you don’t follow her Pressure Cooking Today site, I recommend you subscribe.
In the past decade, there’s been an explosion of products containing bone broth. In fact, bone broths are touted as the latest health elixir. Well, guess what, folks: Bone broth is nothing but your great granny’s stock.
TV cooking personality Alton Brown defines stock as containing bones and water. Period. That’s it. No salt, no vinegar, no vegetables…just bones and water.Broth is created using stock with the addition of ingredients for seasoning, such as celery, onions, carrots, and salt and pepper.
Stock cooks for hours in order to extract all the flavor and collagen from bones. Then it’s strained and stored for future use. With a pressure cooker, I reduce cooking time to 90 minutes followed by natural depressurization. I store in pint-size freezer-safe jars.* After quick cooling in a sink filled with cool water, I refrigerate my jars of stock. The following day, I label and freeze the jars unless I intend to use the stock within a week.
*Freeze only in jars marked “freezer safe.”
Homemade stocks are better than store bought cansorcartons because you control the ingredients. Less expensive, too.
Broths made from homemade stocks are rich, healthy, and tasty. Stock can be used to make a quick gravy or sauce, or as the base for soup. It’s a perfect liquid for pressure cooking. It’s nutritious for dog food, too.
A couple of pounds of bones can yield a gallon of stock, although I usually use more. It isn’t an exact ratio. If you favor slow cooking stock, you’ll need a minimum of six hours. Over night works. When you open the stock to use it, you may find a layer of congealed fat at the top. Carefully remove this fat before using stock but don’t discard it. That fat (especially chicken fat) is rich in flavor and can be used to sauté onions, etc. in place of butter.
Vary your stock as you wish, depending on available bones. I love ham bone broth (stock) for making beans. Chicken stock is versatile and can be used in all poultry dishes as well as beef or pork. Beef stock is good for starting a vegetable soup or any number of beef dishes. Or mix your bones for a rich stock to flavor as you wish.
One last word of advice from Alton Brown. Skip the vinegar. It’s a myth that a teaspoon of vinegar accelerates the extraction of collagen. The amount of vinegar needed to have an impact would render the stock inedible.
Butfor the COVID19 pandemic, this would be Kentucky Derby week in my hometown of Louisville. In its honor, I made a staple of Derby parties, Benedictine Cheese.
As a child, I had no idea what this stuff was, yet I loved it. To me, it was green cheese. Yummy stuff to spread on crackers, I now enjoy it on sliced zucchini, carrot sticks, and celery.
Here’s how I make Kentucky Benedictine Cheese.
8 oz. cream cheese
1 medium cucumber
1/2 small sweet onion
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
(Optional) Fresh herbs for garnish
(Optional) green food coloring
Add chopped cucumber and onion to food processor (I used my Vitamix) and purée.
Strain to remove excess liquid. (Cheesecloth works well)
Add seasonings and lemon juice. Blend.
Blend mixture with cream cheese until creamy.
Refrigerate until serving.
As April draws to a close, so does the quarantine (to a certain extent. Re-opening will vary from location). The Kentucky Derby may be postponed, but I can pretend I’m Derby-ing by enjoying the traditional Derby foods like Benedictine Cheese. Maybe I’ll bake a Derby Pie next, who knows?